Timeline of Career and Technical Education Edit

Smith-Hughes National Vocational Act of 1917

First Act of its kind to provide federal aid for  vocational education in schools. Topics funded included agriculture, industrial trades, and home economics.  These topics are still taught today with expansion into fields such as information technology, engineering, and business to keep with America’s growing economy.

George-Barden Act of 1946 Legislation provided roughly $29 million in funding. Act gave the states flexibility in how funds were spent on the 4 fields of vocational education.  Gave birth to vocational directors and vocational counselors which are still present in today’s school systems. First use of work experience programs much like the internships and mentorships in CTE programs today.  Funding was allowed to be used on the purchase of equipment for vocational instruction. This equipment provides increased engagement and more hands-on instruction in today’s classrooms. Formation of Future Farmers of America and New Farmers of America, these organizations still provide vocational and recreational activities today under the FFA name.

Carl D. Perkins Act of 1984 Act authorized additional funds to support vocational education and provided improved access for individuals with disabilities, are disadvantaged, or have limited English proficiency. These individuals must be provided with equal opportunities in vocational programs and apprentice programs.   This is visible in CTE programs today with the implementation of Occupational Course of Study (OCS) programs. These programs teach job skills to a special population of students and provide hands on learning experiences that will benefit them after graduation and gaining employment in the workforce.

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act of 2016 Integrated the use of career and technical education instead of vocational education. Legislation developed high academic standards in CTE and provided technical instruction linking secondary and postsecondary education.  Funds services and programs with local business and industries for internships and mentorships. Today’s CTE programs prepare students for work life after high school and for attending college.

Prezi Presentation on the History of CTE Edit

1862 - Morrill Act of 1862
  • Jump started the idea to educate people in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other practical professions from the time period.
  • Land was given to states to be sold to pay for colleges to teach these subjects.

1905 - Governor William Douglas Study

  • Highlighted the importance of teaching skills in agriculture, homemaking, and industry in elementary schools.

1917 - Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917

  • Provided the first federal funding of vocational education in public schools.
  • This included topics such as agriculture, home making, and industrial education.

1918 - Smith-Sears Act (World War I Ends)

  • Developing our workforce became a focus after the war to better educate America’s workforce after the recent economic depression.
  • Returning veterans needed addition training to enter the workforce.

1929 - George-Reed Act of 1929

  • Ensures home economics it’s own individual funding and makes it an independent division.

1936 - George-Deen Act of 1936

  • Federal funding reached $14 million/year
  • Topics expanded to include marketing occupations and additional training provide to teachers teaching the programs.
  • Occupations first recognized by legislation.

1944 - Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (GI Bill of Rights)

  • Provided funding for veterans returning from World War II to obtain job skills to enter the workforce.

1946 - George-Barden Act of 1946

  • Federal funding increased to $30+ million/year
  • Allowed purchase or rental of instructional equipment
  • Two agriculture organizations created

Future Farmers of America (FFA) New Farmers of America

1956 - Health Amendments Act t of 1956

  • Vocational Centers built
  • Topics expanded to include nursing and fishery occupations.

1958 - The National Defense Education Act

  • Funds training for training in occupations that support national defense

1963 - Vocational Education Act of 1963 (Perkins Act)

  • Funding now determined by student population instead of field of study
  • All students eligible including disabled and economically disadvantaged

1976 - Vocational Education Amendments of 1976

  • Women and girls now received equal opportunity in vocational programs
  • Eliminated Stereotyping based upon sex.

1984 - Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1984

  • Improve access for all students included disabled students, and those who speak limited English.

1990 - Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Amendments of 1990 

  • Academic measures put into place and programs became accountable for aligning their teaching with standards.
  • Helped school systems gain the skills to teach advancing technology.
  • Measures were put into place to assist disabled students and those less fortunate than others.
  • Included business partnership between schools and businesses.

1994 - School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994

  • Worked based learning programs were introduced and supported by local businesses.
  • Expired in 2001.

1998 - Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998

  • Provided flexibility in how funds were spent in programs.
  • Perkins established accountability systems to measure State and local performance in these programs

2006 - Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006

  • Supported development of skills between secondary and postsecondary programs.
  • Gave state ability to purchase specialized equipment to better instruct students.
  • Authorized 1.1 Billion in funds yearly for CTE programs (85% to state level)

2016 - Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

  • Allows funding to be used for career counseling of all youth (career exploration), not limited to those enrolled in CTE programs.
  • Removes academic standards and leaves it up to the states to set performance goals for funding.
  • Special populations now includes homeless, foster children, and those who have aged out of the foster program.

Association for Career & Technical Education. (2019) ACTE History. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

CareerTech. 1926-1950. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

Encyclopedia Britannica. Smith-Hughes Act. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

Miami University. History of the American Vocational School. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

National Conference of State Legislatures. A Brief History Lesson: The Federal Government’s Role in Apprenticeships. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

Reference for Business. (2017) Vocational Education. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from Carl Perkins’ Effect on Technical Education Legislation. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

University of Notre Dame. The Morrill Act of 1862. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

U.S. Department of Education. (2003) Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

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